aquarium drunkard

Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 481: Jean-Michel Bernard – Générique Stéphane ++ Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Tinariwen – Tenere Taqqim Tossam ++ The Ify Jerry Krusade – Everybody Likes Something Good ++ Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson – Lovin’ You ++ Fatback Band – Goin’ To See My Baby ++ We The People – Function Underground ++ Darondo – Let My People Go ++ Los Issufu & His Moslems – Kana Soro ++ Moses Dillard – Tribute To Wes ++ Clarendonians – You Won’t See Me ++ Alton Ellis – Whiter Shade of Pale ++ The Three Degrees – Collage ++ Johnny & The Attractions – I’m Moving On ++ Andersons All Stars – Intensified Girls ++ The Ify Jerry Krusade – Nwantinti/Die Die ++ Michael Kiwanuka – Bones ++ Ken Nordine – Hippy Version of The 23rd Psalm (edit) ++ Damon – Don’t You Feel Me ++ Whitefield Brothers – Rampage ++ Elmer & Brenda Parker – Got To Get Me Back To Louisiana Pt. 1 & 2 ++ Marian Anderson – Scandalize My Name ++ Nina Simone – To Love Somebody ++ Serge Gainsbourg – Requiem Pour Un Con ++ Johnny Thunder – I’m Alive ++ The Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation – Watch ‘n’ Chain ++ The Electric Piano Underground – Good Vibrations ++ Darwin Teoria – De La Ceca A La Meca (Sally’s Uptight) ++ Ike & Tina Turner – Cussin’, Cryin’ & Carryin’ On ++ Lee Moses – Got That Will ++ Black Velvet – Is It Me You Really Love ++ Patrizia & Jimmy – Trust Your Child Pt 1 ++ Penny & The Quarters – You And Me ++ Billy Lamont – Sweet Thang ++ The Mighty Hannibal – I’m Coming Home ++ Brenton Wood – Baby You Got It ++ Simon & The Piemen – Cut It Out ++ Ike & Tina Turner – Bold Soul Sister ++ The Equals – Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys – Nolan Porter – If I Could Only Be Sure ++ Les Surfs – Tú Serás Mi Baby (Be My Baby) ++ Yishak Banjaw – Ageren Ayehuwat

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.
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No stranger to covers, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy returned to the fold earlier this month via his latest long-player, Best Troubador. An inspired collection of Merle Haggard covers, the vinyl edition of the double album arrived with a little lagniappe on the side: “No Time to Cry” – an Iris DeMent tune that the Hag covered on his album, 1996. And for those of you sans a turntable, behold — today a video popped up. . .

Related: Merle Haggard :: The AD Interview (A Conversation)

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Welcome to Aquarium Drunkard’s recurring Transmissions podcast. Today, we finish our mini-series in collaboration with the folks at Mexican Summer. In March, AD’s Jason P. Woodbury headed out to Marfa Texas to attend Mexican Summer’s Marfa Myths Festival, a four-day, multi-disciplinary celebration of art and music in West Texas, which resulted in his essay, “There’s No Such Thing As Nowhere.”

For this episode, Woodbury sits down with artist and musician Lonnie Holley. His sculptures, assembled from found objects, seemingly align each random component with meaning. In 2012, Holley released his debut album, Just Before Music, on Atlanta label Dust to Digital. Reviewing the record, AD’s A. Spoto wrote, “He sings with an intense, emotional voice and unleashes lyrics without consistent meter or rhyme over gossamer keyboard lines that hang in the ether. His music is a blues nebula, splotched with riffy word jazz that shares in some rappers’ collagist aesthetics as well as the runaway passion of a gospel preacher enlivened by the Spirit.”

He followed it with a second, Keeping a Record of It, in 2013. Both featured improvised music and melodies, drawing on Holley’s personal reserve of gospel, jazz, blues, and folk music. Like his music, this conversation is wide-ranging and freeform, a gentle and inquisitive exploration into how much meaning we’re willing to grant the world around us.

Transmission Podcast :: Lonnie Holley

Subscribe to the Aquarium Drunkard podcast on iTunes or via RSS feed. Lonnie Holley photo by Tim Duffy.

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(Welcome to Videodrome. A recurring column plumbing the depths of vintage underground cinema — from cult, exploitation, trash and grindhouse to sci-fi, horror, noir and beyond.)

In a more civilized age before digital effects and “always on” video streaming, cult cartoons were radioactive contraband. They were hard to find and dangerous to possess. Respectful Americans didn’t take kindly to perverts back then, and they sure as shit didn’t celebrate gory claymated sex-craft.

Now days scuzzy is cool, or at least more out in the open. In a world where donkey shows and goatse pass as office-friendly humor, sometimes it’s hard to find a real taboo. That’s where underground animation comes in handy. After all these years, there is something still unsettling about watching a cartoon disembowelment.

Walt Disney and the Art of Animation, a 1958 gospel on the medium, defined animation as the process of creating “the illusion of action or change.” The key word here is illusion. Animation is a form of sorcery. Unencumbered by the limits of live action, animation designers are roving necromancers who breathe life, and death, into stories and concepts. Theirs is a genre capable of wild flights of delirium. But thanks to Pixar and Dreamworks modern animated cinema has been hijacked by sophisticated and nuanced family entertainment. WallE and Up will even make you cry. In rare exceptions—shout to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim—slapstick comedy and irreverent parody are the reigning formats.

None of this will scare you or unsettle you, though, and that’s a shame. As escapist entertainment goes, nothing beats animation’s raw potential to defile your soul. Beneath the smiles and songs lies the true face of animation. That is, a long and beautiful legacy of darkness, where the infinite promise of the pencil exalts in the macabre and psychotic.

Whether via traditional cartoons, digital effects, puppetry or stop motion, we salute the demented stewards of the cult animation game, without whose radical efforts we might never have contemplated our own corruption. We offer up this list as a blood sacrifice. words / j campbell

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WIZARDS

Wizards (1977) Ralph Bakshi is a visionary weirdo and proverbial bad kid. Controversial maker of X-rated satires and exploitative cartoon trash, Bakshi had a slime trail of plundered innocence behind him when he made a career switch to science fiction and fantasy in the mid-1970s. Despite building a solid catalogue of genre gems thereafter, including his loved and loathed attempt at doing visual justice to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, 1977’s Wizards stands out as a milestone of animated experimentation.

Facing budget and resource constraints, Wizards‘ debuted Bakshi’s rotoscoping technique, an innovation that imposes traditional illustration onto live action sequences and photography. The hallucinatory result was incomparable to other forms of contemporary animation.

Beyond the optics, though, Wizards dealt in holocaustic dystopia, bending traditional sword and sorcery fantasy tropes into an unconventional study of science vs. magic and the disturbing power of Nazi propaganda. Think barbarian wars under swastika banners.

“When the Europeans took blacks as slaves in the US, our ancestors brought their culture with them. They mixed their music with modern instruments, and created the blues, and that invented rock n roll, rhythm and blues, jazz, everything. The blues comes from here. We sing, we cry, and it brings you into a trance. We make Bori, we do Voodoo. Our ancestors brought this to the US. Little by little, it took in everyone.” – Mona (né Abdoulaye Bouzou)

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A long overdue update on some of the most incredible music released this year, so far — all from the incredibly robust and eclectic realm of modern-day Africa. The venerable Sahel Sounds, increasingly standing shoulder to shoulder with the Strut and Soundways labels, released two splendid, and wholly different, documents of new sounds coming out of West Africa earlier this year – one grounded in guitar-based field recordings, the other coming from a more experimental and electronic angle – patch working synthetic textures and organic sounds to mesmerizing effect.

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Let’s start with the guitar record. A compilation of various guitar music, seemingly oozing out of every corner of Niger, Agrim Agadez is a testament to the infinite power of the unadorned and naturalistic recording process. Bringing together the likeminded contemporary passion of this musically dense and focal region, from musicians of all walks of life, the comp includes what the liner notes describe as everything from “bar bands of the southern Hausa land, pastoral flock owning village autodidacts, rag-tag DIY wedding rock musicians, to political minded folk guitarists.” In other words, all the real shit. Hypnotic blues chants are redefined in the pure, unabashed harmony of Mohamed Karzo’s “C’est La Vie,” a platitude that feels less and less of a cliché with each passing day of this modern age. The raw and genuine power of these performances are not diminished, but rather, strengthened by the collection’s eclectic nature – underscored perhaps most profoundly by the fact that the aforementioned life-affirming folk song is followed by an absolute blazingly ragged rendition of “Hey Joe,” courtesy of Azna De L’Ader (the outfit of the above quoted Mona).

Mohamed Karzo :: C’est La Vie

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In recent years, guitarist Bill MacKay has served as Ryley Walker’s six-string sparring partner, built luminous soundscapes with Rob Frye (Bitchin Bajas, Cave) and led the jazz-inflected Darts and Arrows collective. A varied resume! MacKay maintains this healthy sense of adventure on Esker, his eclectic Drag City debut. Each of the 10 absorbing instrumentals here is a world unto itself, whether it’s the mystical, slide guitar + piano on the opening “Aster” or the jaunty ragtime of “Candy.” MacKay has chops a-plenty, but the album never feels fussy or ostentatious. There’s a looseness and ease to every moment here; the paint is still fresh on the canvas, so to speak.

He’s Chicago-based, but MacKay’s imagination often looks westward for inspiration — dig the dusty swagger of “Powder Mill Park,” or “Wail,” an elegiac sunset of a song that could’ve been plucked from Dylan’s Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid soundtrack. Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, Esker flies by at first listen, but as you continue to explore its grooves, you’ll find more and more to love. words / t wilcox


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“It was really pure art. Pure art. Anyway, producing great works was the ultimate goal; we had eyes for nothing else. We heard nothing else. We still had no sense of society. There was no sense of the masses.” – Haruomi Hosono

Here now, “Some for Harry,” a celebration and glance at Haruomi Hosono: bass God of Japan, the in-demand producer, the confounding inventor, the soothe-singing crooner and social commentator; an hour of groove, freak-out, electronicalypso and beyond. / b kramer

Some For Harry / A Haruomi Hosono Companion

playlist / provenance after the jump . . .